Stay Connected

International Activities

Welcome to the OAR International Activities Office!

NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) maintains a dedicated and vibrant research enterprise that provides a holistic understanding of how weather, climate, ocean, and coastal systems are inextricably interconnected with each other and with society. While all of NOAA’s line offices conduct research, OAR is the only line office dedicated solely to conducting R&D which supports the entire range of NOAA’s science, service, and stewardship mission.

NOAA’s mission extends beyond the political boundaries of the United States to oceans, ecosystems, and the atmosphere throughout the world. It is important for NOAA/OAR to engage internationally and leverage opportunities to expand data collection in support of its science mission, while also seeking to maximize the mutual benefits of international exchange with global experts in ocean, atmosphere, and climate science.

The Oceanic and Atmospheric Research International Activities Office (OAR/IA) incubates and integrates new ideas, partnerships, and technologies that result in improved services for the Nation.

OAR/IA advances NOAA’s ocean, atmosphere, and climate science enterprise by:

  • Leveraging international collaborations and strategic partnerships;
  • Supporting and aligning NOAA research with U.S. foreign policy objectives through active participation in the Science and Technology (S&T) fora;
  • Advancing access to international expertise by serving the needs of OAR laboratories and programs on specific international research issues and operational requests.

These efforts support NOAA’s overall vision of healthy ecosystems, communities, and economies that are resilient to environmental change. OAR/IA has three operational objectives:

  • Advise NOAA and its research leadership on international science policy, strategies, programs, and issues in support of U.S. foreign policy and corporate science priorities.
  • Lead and promote strategic science and technology partnerships with international organizations that benefit NOAA and OAR’s research programs in weather, climate, atmospheric, and marine science. Serve as executor and administrator for several multilateral and bilateral agreements including Australia, France, Indonesia, India, and Japan.
  • Support and represent OAR interests and programs by serving its laboratories and programs on international programmatic, administrative, and operational needs.

To contact OAR/IA, please email


1) Leadership Support, Policy, Management and Coordination

OAR/IA advises NOAA and Research leadership on international science policy and strategies, programs, and initiatives supporting U.S. foreign policy and science priorities. The office participates in NOAA International Affairs Council (IAC) meetings and Working Groups, and responds to IAC data and information calls. OAR/IA staff support and accompany NOAA and OAR leadership to domestic and overseas international meetings and events, and consistently participate in OAR leadership corporate meetings.

2) Bilateral Cooperation

OAR/IA staff support the U.S. representative to the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of the U.N. Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for annual domestic and international meetings, as well as respond to information requests from the IOC. This includes planning and coordination efforts for the U.N. Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030). OAR/IA supports the U.S. co-chair to the Galway Statement between the U.S., Canada, and the EU and coordinates among the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance Working Group U.S. Co-Leads and Chairs. OAR/IA also supports multilateral agreements, including the Prediction and Research Moored Array in the Tropical Atlantic (PIRATA) MOU.
Bilaterally, OAR/IA provides oversight for NOAA on formal agreements with organizations such as: 
  • Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO),
  • The French Research Institute for Exploration of the Sea (Ifremer),
  • Indonesia’s Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysical Agency (BMKG),
  • India’s Ministry of Earth Science (MoES),
  • The Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC)

OAR/IA carries out U.S. Executive Secretarial functions, including staffing on NOAA-wide strategic planning, project coordination, and implementation of joint activities. We also support and coordinate participation in Joint Commission Meetings (JCM) on the corresponding government-to-government science and technology agreements, which are led by the Department of State (DOS) and/or the Office for Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) on behalf of the United States. In addition, OAR/IA manages program activities involving ocean-climate, ocean, and coastal observations; aquaculture; and Sea Grant International (SGI). OAR/IA oversees and administers corresponding project funds under the NOAA Joint Program Agreement (JPA) with the Republic of Korea. OAR/IA provides staff support to OAR leadership during other types of bilateral engagements with partners, such as Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), and also supports NOAA’s cooperative agreement with the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF).

3) Administration and Operational Support

OAR/IA processes all foreign travel packages for OAR, including all country clearance cables, passport and visa requests, foreign national J-1 visa requests, Marine Scientific Research (MSR) requests, and processing new international agreement (MOUs, Implementing Arrangements, etc), partnering with OAR’s Budget Execution and Analysis Division (BEAD).

Other supporting activities include:

  • Staffing OAR laboratories and programs on international issues and processes requests for international field campaigns, research programs, and operations.
  • Coordinating and managing all international executive correspondence to be signed by the AA and DAAs.
  • Providing support to the AA, providing weekly updates, and managing engagement and international calendars.
  • Managing OAR HUB Communications and Travel Handbook.

Much of NOAA’s on-going international science and technology enterprise is driven by gaining access to foreign data, technology, expertise, geographic locations, and engaging in cost-sharing opportunities on large-scale projects of mutual interest. These same drivers contribute to NOAA’s new and emerging science priorities that require new linkages and relationships with foreign counterparts.

International Affairs Staff

RAMA IA signing - USE1


IOC Delegation Craig and Allison - USE1

ATOMIC3 (1) - USE1

Copy of 02ad92e1-d708-4ae3-ab62-8630ada5430b (1) - USE

IMG_0025 - USE1






We conduct research in three major areas: weather and air quality, climate, and ocean and coastal resources.


The laboratories and their field stations are located across the country and around the world.


Scientific reviews are conducted every four years to evaluate the quality, relevance, and performance of research conducted at the OAR laboratories.


The Oceanic and Atmospheric Research International Activities Office (OAR/IA) advances NOAA’s science enterprise and priorities on ocean, atmosphere, and climate.


Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) - or "NOAA Research" - provides the research foundation for understanding the complex systems that support our planet. Working in partnership with other organizational units of the NOAA, a bureau of the Department of Commerce, NOAA Research enables better forecasts, earlier warnings for natural disasters, and a greater understanding of the Earth. Our role is to provide unbiased science to better manage the environment, nationally, and globally.

Stay Connected


Phone: 301-713-2458
Address: 1315 East-West Highway Silver Spring, MD 20910


Can't Find What You Need?
Send Feedback
Copyright 2018 by NOAA Terms Of Use Privacy Statement
Back To Top